If your business has a reliable and high-speed Internet connection, then you’ve got what it takes to experience significant savings by switching your company’s phone system to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Once you’ve decided to make the switch, you will next have to select a VoIP solution that’s right for your organization. Here are some tips to help you make this important decision.
Choosing Between Hosted VoIP and VoIP PBX
Hosted VoIP is the preferred choice for many businesses wanting to take advantage of the savings provided by VoIP, but don’t want to take on the burden of maintaining and hosting their own VoIP solution (as is the case with VoIP PBX). To be fair, VoIP PBX is a great communications solution and offers your business many of the same features and benefits as hosted VoIP–with the main difference between the two VoIP solutions being that you would have to implement and manage VoIP PBX (or have an IT company like Think Tank NTG handle it), and Hosted VoIP is managed by an outside VoIP provider like Think Tank NTG.
If your business has an in-house IT department that can absorb the additional work of managing VoIP PBX, then the money saved by switching to VoIP and managing it in-house would be worth the effort. However, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t have an in-house IT staff large enough to pull off such a major project. This is why Hosted VoIP is the popular choice for many SMBs.
With hosted VoIP, all that’s required on your end is to download the necessary software and setup new IP-enabled telephones. With Think Tank NTG as your VoIP provider, we’re here to walk you through every step and get your VoIP service up and running. Think Tank NTG will work with your business to set up the call features that your business needs, set up your company’s voicemail and call tree, assign extensions to each employee, and anything else that your business will need from its communications solution.
In terms of service and features, there’s usually no discernible difference between hosted VoIP and VoIP PBX, but there are some notable differences between the two packages. Namely, hosted VoIP is more affordable to get started with because you’re essentially signing up for a managed VoIP service that becomes a regular expense for your business.
Additionally, hosted VoIP requires more bandwidth than VoIP PBX due to your VoIP provider needing extra resources to remotely manage your VoIP solution. However, don’t be turned off by this if you’re hesitant to upgrade. Think Tank NTG can check to see if your bandwidth is strong enough to handle a hosted VoIP solution, and we can even contact your IP provider and take care of this for you. If you do need to upgrade, then going with VoIP is still worth it because the savings will supersede the expense of upgrading your company’s Internet plan.
Now, as is the case with anything that’s leased, there will come a tipping point where VoIP PBX will ultimately cost less than hosted VoIP over time. Before picking a VoIP plan, you will first want to consult your budget and look at both your capital expenditures versus your available operating budget. When budgeting for VoIP, you must understand that VoIP PBX is a capital expense while hosted VoIP is an operating expense.
To further help you decide on which VoIP plan is right for your business, here’s a list of VoIP pros and cons from Compare Business Products.
- Outside management of the phone system, decreasing the need for extra resources.
- Initial costs are low.
- Few ongoing maintenance fees.
- Moving the phone system is quick and efficient.
- Adding new users or features can incur fees depend, depending on your provider.
- Customized features might be difficult to implement.
- No phone service if your VoIP provider goes under.
- VoIP PBX
- Highly customizable.
- In-house management allows more control over features and uses.
- Adding new features doesn’t require going through an outside company (unless you need assistance).
- Considerable up-front costs for investing in hardware and setup.
- Requires a dedicated IT person to manage the system, which can be expensive.
- Moving the phone system is a formidable task that includes relocating the server (trust us, it’s a hassle).
The money saved by switching to VoIP makes it an easy choice for your business. The question then becomes finding a VoIP plan that fits the needs of your organization, and Think Tank NTG can work with you to determine this. Call us today at 800-501-DATA to learn more about how VoIP can benefit your business.
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